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Skill Matters: Explaining Different Levels of Online Engagement

18 Jan 2010

The increasing number of online opportunities for people to express themselves have led to much enthusiasm about the Internet’s potential to democratize the public sphere. Indeed, likely more people than ever before participate in discussions and collaborate on projects yielding heretofore unprecedented outcomes of value to many. While the enthusiasm about new opportunities is thus warranted, little is known about who is actually participating, who is not, and what participation patterns may imply for the democratizing potential of new tools and services.

This talk draws on unique survey data collected on a diverse group of young American adults in 2009 to explore these questions.